Germantown allows man to keep six dogs

He receives fancier license as exception to three-animal limit

Dec. 24, 2012

Germantown - Despite concerns from one resident, a Germantown man has been permitted to keep more than three animals at his residence by way of a fancier license.

Phil Secker, who lives along Bridle Path, sought the permit so his six dogs - a Norwegian elkhound and five beagles - can stay at his property.

"I don't just have the dogs to just have dogs," Secker said. "They compete, and they're judged by how well they compete as a team. I love my dogs tremendously."

The village notified 18 property owners of Secker's intention to obtain the license. One nearby owner asked Secker not receive the license.

"This past summer it was, once again, the sound of a chorus of barking dogs coming from his property throughout the day," John and Mary Grace Stauder, who live three homes away from Secker, wrote in a letter to the village.

"In my opinion, no attempt was made to ever quiet the animals," the Stauders wrote. "To hear the barking dogs, day after day after day is extremely annoying."

The Village Board voted, 8-1, in favor of Secker's request at its meeting last week. As he came before the board, Secker refuted the claims in the letter written by the Stauders.

"I'm a good neighbor, and my dogs are well taken care of," he said.

The board's Public Safety Committee reviewed Secker's request with a 3-1 vote in advance of it coming before the full board for final action.

At the committee level, the favorable request came with the caveat Secker not be allowed to replace any of his existing dogs without returning for a new fancier permit.

Village President Dean Wolter said he visited Secker's property and did not come across any issues of concern.

Trustee Melvin Ewert cast the dissenting vote at the committee and board levels.

"This is too small of a lot," Ewert said. "I just think it's too many dogs."

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